Wednesday, April 30, 2008

St Maarten Dutch Bridge Times Changes

Just a reminder that May 1st is the day that the opening times goes to the summer schedule for the bridge into the Simpson Bay Lagoon on the Dutch side of St. Maarten / St. Martin.

The bridge will open only three times per day instead of six.

Outbound traffic goes first (boats leaving the Lagoon).

Opens every day (weekends & holidays, too) at:
  • 9:30 am: Outbound, then inbound
  • 11:30 am: Outbound, then inbound
  • 5:30 pm: Outbound, then inbound
For more information about the Simpson Bay Bridge see our previous posts:

Monday, April 28, 2008

Amazon makes Mother's Day gift shopping easy makes it easy to shop at a distance... Has Mother's Day snuck up on you once again?

In the past, I have had difficult paying Amazon with a credit card and sending my order to a different address than the billing address. I've solved this by buying myself Amazon Gift Certificates and send it to my email address. Makes the checkout much easier.

Happy shopping!

Friday, April 25, 2008


Here's a post that Bob just pointed out to me on Latitude 38's 'Lectronic Latitudes Blog.

I think the photo was actually taken in the Simpson Bay Lagoon on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, but hey, that is off of Anguilla :)

I think that our set up works pretty good though. It is the Engenius external unit with an omnidirectional antenna. You can purchase it through Amazon : CLICK HERE.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Looking For Elvis - Heneken Regatta 2008 SXM St Maarten

So many people come to this blog with the search term "Looking for Elvis" that I am posting this photo even though it is not mine. Looking for Elvis is a 48-foot Gunboat catamaran that we often see around St. Maarten.

This photo was taken from the Heineken Regatta website with a credit and copyright to Bob Grieser... Nice picture!

Looking for Elvis - photo copyright Bob Grieser

Check out for more race photos and information about the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Coke Zero pricing at Gourmet Marche SXM

A couple of posts below this one I have written about some of the prices in St. Maarten.

Yesterday we went to the Gourmet Marche supermarket on Airport Road at the Portofino Marina and bought a few things. When we were walking back to the dinghy Bob said that he was surprised that the Coke cost more than Fresca. I wasn't paying attention to the prices, darn!

We have been buying Coke Zero in a plastic shrink wrap packaging with the cans arranged 3x4 and that will set you back $4.75. We were charged $7.20 for the same 12 cans of Coke Zero but this time packaged in their 12-pack long narrow (2x12) cardboard box. What gives here???

We will be passing by the store today so I will be armed with my old receipts along with yesterday's to ask about this.


OK! The nice manager was in the store this morning so I asked him if the price was correct... What's the difference? Isn't 12 cans of Coke 12 cans of Coke?

No, it's not. The cans in the plastic packaging come from Dominica and the cans in the cool-pack cardboard box are imported from England which they are no longer purchasing... Thus, the British Coke costs more than the Coke distributed out of the Caribbean island of Dominica. Makes sense. But, I wonder why they got it from England and not Florida?

If I remember correctly, this 12-can cool pack box sold for $9 in Antigua. Can't check a receipt because I could not bring myself to spend that much money for Coke. We had plenty of Crystal Lite to drink :)

Hope this explains a bit about shopping in the Caribbean!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Different strokes for different folks

I thought that this was a pretty amazing article in the St. Maarten newspaper last Friday (The Daily Herald, April 11, 2008... No, not April 1st). It has prompted quite a bit of talk :)

Here are some bits and pieces of the article but you can read the whole thing here:

MPs object to treatment they received at airport

PHILIPSBURG--Members of Parliament (MPs), the highest elected officials of the Netherlands Antilles, have severe complaints about the treatment they have been receiving at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA).

President of Parliament, Pedro Atacho told The Daily Herald it was usual at all airports within the Netherlands Antilles that MPs receive different treatment when going through security checks, based on their status as the country’s highest elected people’s representatives.

The main complaint is that in St. Maarten, MPs are also required to take off shoes, belts and sometimes even other parts of their clothing.

“The treatment is different compared to the treatment we receive in CuraƧao. In St. Maarten we are basically being stripped down and are almost treated like criminals, while we are the highest elected officials of the country. We have no interest in doing illegal things and embarrassing our own country,” Richardson stated. He considered what happened a “serious incident.”
My goodness!

Read the whole article here:


Thursday, April 17, 2008

RIB Inflatable dinghy tube repair - ClamSeal

I've been wanting to mention this wonderful product since last November but with this and that, I never got around to it. The ClamSeal is a two-piece thingy that clamps together. One part goes inside the tube and the other part goes on the outside. You screw down the nut and you have a tight seal. For pictures, visit Bob's Boat Bits blog to see the installation of our second ClamSeal repair [CLICK HERE].

Back in November, the day before we were leaving to sail over to the Virgin Islands to attend the to charter yacht shows in St. Thomas USVI and Tortola BVI, our Caribe 9L got a small puncture. It was in a difficult place to repair and the first patch we did, didn't take. The puncture was in the bow very close to the seam with the strip with the grommets in it. There was not enough room to get enough patching material to make a good seal. It was time to go so we stowed it on our foredeck with a very slow leak.

Our first boat show was in Tortola so we just made do by pumping up the dinghy a bit each time we used it. When we arrived in St. Thomas, our first stop was to see Harold at Offshore Marine, the Caribe dealer, to see if we could have someone patch our dinghy. Yes they could, but the guy was on vacation and would not be back for another 10 days. So, it was back to pumping up the dinghy before each use.

We went to Island Water World over by Yacht Haven Grande to see if they had a ClamSeal because they had them at the St. Maarten store. No luck there, so we bought a replacement valve but we were a bit nervous about installing it as we couldn't find instructions, plus we'd be back in St. Maarten soon and we're doing OK...

When we got back to St. Maarten we bought a ClamSeal at Island Water World. What a wonderful piece of gear. It's kind of frightening to make a 2-inch slice in your tube to install but Hey Presto it works and was EASY. Some people probably wouldn't like the look or perhaps not like that it is not flush but it makes our little boat distinguishable :)

Last week we admitted that we had another puncture. We were saying that the tube was a bit soft because it was cold last night... We found the little pinprick hole and tried a bit of crazy glue first but the next morning the tube was a bit soft again... So off to Island Water World. They only had two ClamSeals so we bought both of them.

Visit Bob's Boat Bits blog to see the installation of our second ClamSeal repair [CLICK HERE].

I think that anyone who has an inflatable life raft should take a couple of these along. I don't remember the book (was it "Adrift"?) but it was a guy in a leaky life raft and the instructions on the repair kit was to apply to a dry surface. Duh! How are you going to keep a leaky life raft dry when you are using it.

So, thank you Barton Marine Equipment Ltd for a great and reasonably priced ($30) product.

You can buy a ClamSeal through Sea Eagle ClamSeal Instant Repair kit

Monday, April 14, 2008

Peg Leg Pub New Location in St. Maarten

APRIL 2008 - We are very sad to see that one of our favorite restaurants in St. Maarten has moved. They used to be conveniently located for cruising folks as they had a dinghy dock in the Lagoon at Three Palms Plaza (across the water from Budget Marine & in between Pineapple Pete and Domino's Pizza).

It was the perfect place for us to have dinner before a movie which was just down the road a bit. They have half-price appetizers for happy hour between 4-6pm and $1 beers. We could easily have a good feed and a couple of beers for UNDER $20... for both of us, not each. I usually would not have room for popcorn at the movie which is really saying a lot for me :)

But now they have moved. I suppose we could tie up over at the little marina in the back of Port de Plaisance Marina where the French restaurant is and then walk up to the casino, but it's just not convenient for us anymore... We've been spoiled!

We really like Jack & Linda so I'm sure we'll still pass by, but not as often as before as it would be a specific trip and not a "hey, it's Tuesday so it is Meat Loaf for the lunch special... Let's GO" Perhaps we'll just have to do Pineapple Pete instead as a pre-movie deal. Haven't been there in a long time and I seem to remember something about a wings special...

Anyway, this is what it says on the Peg Leg website:

Peg Leg Moves In April!

Peg Leg Pub & Steakhouse moves early in April from Simpson Bay to the former location of the "Surf and Turf" just inside the Casino entrance at Princess Port de Plaisance. The schedule:


Our new Port de Plaisance location is much closer for people in the Cupecoy area -- just 20 minutes through Marigot. That's a lot better than 1 1/2 hours thru Simpson Bay!

Join us at our new location starting April 12, 2008!
All the best for your new location & hope to see you soon, Jack & Linda. Your restaurant has it all... Good food, Good service, Good specials, Good hospitality!

Keep it up!

Sunday, April 13, 2008



Prices in US Dollars in April 2008, St. Maarten, SXM Netherland Antilles

Gasoline, 1 gallon: $4.77 ($1.26/liter at Island Water World)
Gasoline (essence) on the French side is cheaper. Usually 1 euro = 1 dollar
Water, 1 gallon: $0.15 at Island Water World


Kentucky Fried Chicken: #1: Leg & thigh, small mashed potatoes, biscuit, drink: $7.00
Burger King: Whopper, fries, drink: $5.99
MacDonalds: #2: QuarterPounder, fries, drink: $5.59
Domino's Pizza: on Lagoon across from Budget Marine, near Pineapple Pete. Will deliver to French side
  • Large Pan Pizza, unlimited toppings, $12.00
  • 12" Medium: $10.65 +$1.25/topping
  • 14" Large: $12.50 +$1.50/topping
  • Two for Tuesday! Buy one get one free.


Eggs, medium, one dozen: $2.22
Potatoes, Idaho, 5 pounds: $3.50
Onions, 3-pound bag: $3.00
Pepsi Max, 12 cans (12-pack plastic shrink wrap): $4.50
Coke Zero, 12 cans (12-pack plastic shrink wrap): $4.75
Coke Zero, 12 cans (12-pack cardboard box): $7.20 (WHAT? Imported from UK)
Fresca, 12 cans (cardboard packaging): $6.50
Rum, Appleton dark, 1 liter: $5.53
Rum, Cortez dark, 1 liter: $3.75
Cookies, McVitties Bourbon Cremes: $1.35
Cat litter, clumping, 7-pound jug (gallon size): $5.50 & $6.00
Cat litter, Tidy Cat, clumping, 14-pound jug: $8.80


Coke Zero, 12 cans: $4.50
Batteries, Duracell AA 8-pack: $7.78
Cat food, Purina Delicat, 10-pound bucket: $10.55
Cat litter, Fresh Step Clumping, 28-pound bucket: $16.66
Rice, parboiled 10-pound bag: $6.66

LD's SEVEN ALIVE Supermarket across from Palapa Marina:

Milk, 2%, 1/2 gallon = $1.45

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE TO WACKA, our first boat cat

April 1st is April Fools and poisson d'avril, but for me it is foremost Wacka's birthday.

Wacka was 16 years old when she passed away the week before Hurricane George in September 1998.

I know a few of my old friends from OECD in Paris will remember her:
  • Sandra will remember Wacka's very loud & persistent voice when she graciously drove our stuff from our apartment in Paris out to the boatyard at the Charles de Gaulle airport where we built the first Loose Moose.
  • Derek will treasure the memory of little Wacka's fragrance on his pillow when we all lived aboard the barge Black Moon along the Seine in Le Port Marly outside of Paris, France.
Wacka was a good sailor. She was with us on Loose Moose when we traveled from Paris down the Seine to Le Harve, then sailed up to St. Valery Sur Somme and then through the canals back to Paris and then to our spot on the Marne at Joinville Le Pont.

Bullwinkle joined us a few years later and they really helped out during our transatlantic crossing aboard Loose Moose 2.

They were both good cats. We miss them and have many fond memories.